After I met my friend, we went to an art gallery to see a new showing by one of his friends, Poosapati Parameshwar Raju.
Since they were trying to save electricity, the gallery itself was completely dark when we went inside. Then the artist-friend turned on the lights. I gasped aloud. We were surrounded by larger-than-life calligraphic drawings, each one arresting in its sense of balance and grace, evoking Ganesh or Hanuman or Surya in simple, nearly-abstract strokes.
Raju drew a series of 250 aums, each one varying the lettering slightly so it became like that game of telephone, where the characters took on new meanings as they metamorphosed. One aum became a praying figure. One became a dancer. One became a diya.
Afterwards, my friend told me that it was his birthday today. I told him that I would have to buy him some sweets. Mostly, of course, I wanted an excuse to eat sweets. He took me to a sweetshop, and when I made some joke about not yet being able to name everything that was behind the counter, he started at one end and pointed at each row of sweets in turn and bought one of everything that I could not identify properly. Including this thing that looked like a jalebi but was actually... something else, like a super jalebi, and when I bit into it I started laughing aloud because eating it was just so fantastic. (Yes, I still don't remember its name. Which means I'll probably have to eat another one.)
And yes, despite it being his birthday, he ended up buying all of the sweets and refused to let me pay. On the other hand, he's currently playing a hero in a Telugu serial and is making more money daily than I did while I was temping. So I don't feel too bad, except that it was his birthday. ^__^